The assessment has also changed the grouping of Water Crisis from an environmental risk to a social risk, providing much wider implications to the risk.
This assessment will have impacts on the global infrastructure asset management community.
It means that high level policy makers and politicians will pay more attention to the risks and impacts surrounding water crisis and look for ways to manage and mitigate this.
In many cases this will involve investment in and construction of new infrastructure. The United States, China and India are all going to have to make significant and sustained investments in new water infrastructure in the next decade.
Infrastructure asset management practitioners in the areas where this investment is likely to occur need to be prepared for this investment, to ensure that it integrates with existing infrastructure networks and service provision, and that the optimal infrastructure is procured.
Basic infrastructure management questions will need to be assessed and answered such as:
- What services and service levels are required?
- What is the future demand for this water?
- What growth in demand is expected – municipal, agricultural, intensification of use and demand?
- What is the water availability?
- What are the risks associated with this infrastructure?
- What is the affordability of this infrastructure?
With this predicted level of activity and investment there are some interesting challenges ahead for our profession.
Don’t forget – most of your infrastructure lifecycle management costs are locked in at completion of construction – so building the right infrastructure, to the right capacity, at the appropriate standard is vitally important to your long term management.